Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

He Prayed More Earnestly

Luke 22:44

And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Growing up – I remember going to prayer meetings and camp meetings where people prayed with such fervor – nothing like (in my mind) the prayers I heard on a Sunday morning. Often the prayer time at less formal settings allowed for more time and it seemed to help people get into a deeper prayer mode.

Has there been a time when we have prayed with fervor and earnestness? I remember praying long and hard during a prayer vigil held at my church when I was a young teen. I signed up for a half-an-hour every day for a month.

Has there been a time when we have prayed with fervor and earnestness? I remember praying long and hard when the planes were hitting during 9-11. I prayed for such evil to be stopped. I prayed for those who were trapped in the towers. Continue reading

August 17, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leaders Are Called To Serve

Mark 10:45

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Today’s thought is a quick reminder for all of us who feel a calling to lead. If we are called to lead – we are called to serve. Leaders in the church – be it pastors – Bible study leaders – Sunday School teachers – church officers – office staff – church staff – and more – are called to be servant ministers rather than dictators.

If we are followers of Christ – it should be more about whom we serve than the position we hold. Some people work hard for title or position – rather than to serve. Some people can’t wait to be called teacher – pastor – reverend – church leader – when it shouldn’t matter what we are called – we should all be serving Jesus and others. Continue reading

August 9, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A True Leader Must Serve

Mark 10:43

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,

RayMcDI had an amazing example growing up of a leader who served others. My father was a pastor – a leader of men and women – yet he was always found serving others. As I grew up – physically and spiritually – I always found my dad out in the yard working with the other men and women raking leaves in the fall. I usually found my father working in the kitchen or serving in the fellowship hall when church meals were being served. I remember seeing my dad taking the trashcan around picking up the trash during meals at church. I remember dad helping to mix concrete and carrying cinder blocks when the folks from our church were doing most of the work building the fellowship hall and Sunday school wing at the church. In short – where there was a need – you could find this leader of men and women serving. He had a servant’s heart. Nothing was beneath him. Continue reading

January 10, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Am I United Methodist Today?

Mark 1:17

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMIn today’s climate – this might be a very serious question. Why Am I a United Methodist today?

This is a simple question but it might have complicated answers. Let’s look at a few.

One might answer – because the church I go to is United Methodist. It is the church closest to my home or the church I have always attended. I really haven’t thought of why before but maybe I should.

One might answer – because I grew up in the United Methodist Church. It is the church my parents attended and I have just never thought much about changing or trying another church.

One might answer – because I believe in the method of their theological discernment. Now we’re starting to dive a little deeper. Have any of us thought this deep about our relationship with the denomination we attend.

One might answer – I don’t know! This might be a more common answer than we would like.

One might answer – United Methodist?  You mean I’m United Methodist?

Continue reading

July 22, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hide God’s Word in Our Hearts

Psalm 119:11

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

82015 RayHave you ever played memory games? I remember playing Concentration – I enjoyed that game. I also remember playing other type games that were considered brain games – like finding the hidden pictures in Highlight magazine or finding what was different about two pictures.

Do you remember when we use to memorize dozens of phone numbers? This was before cell phones where we simply name the person and the phone calls them. I could rattle off dozens and dozens of numbers.

Did you ever memorize Scripture? I had a friend that memorized the whole book of James. Continue reading

October 27, 2015 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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